Peace Corps Takes Part in America Goes Back to School' in Kansas Sept. 22

September 21, 1999

Washington, D.C., September 21—Peace Corps Acting Director Charles Baquet III will visit Wichita State University and two Wichita, Kansas public schools September 22, as part of the Department of Education's 'America Goes Back to School' program.
"The Peace Corps believes that education is paramount to the success of a community, and our volunteers work around the world to teach students and train teachers on how to better involve communities in the education of their children," said Baquet. "Many volunteers who served as teachers overseas continue this vital work in classrooms here in the United States. The programs for students and members of the community in Wichita are indeed worthy of special recognition."
Baquet will be on hand for a noon announcement at North High School in Wichita about a new program for families and students called "Open Door Nights." The program, which will provide learning opportunities at the school, will kick off later in the day. Teaching specialist Pam Paulson will present "Talkin' to Your Teen" at 6:45 p.m.
North High School has the most diverse student body of all high schools in the Wichita area. A goal for Open Door Nights is to recruit a cadre of faculty, parents, and area returned Peace Corps volunteers, as well as other people in the community, to assist and tutor parents and students in the evenings at North High School.
Robert Lane is the coordinator for Wichita State University's secondary education program and director of the university's Peace Corps Fellows program for graduate students. Wichita State's program recruits former volunteers into its teacher education programs and assists them in finding teaching positions through the university's alternative teacher certification program. North High School partners with Wichita State as one of its professional development sites where future teachers are educated and trained on-site. There are currently eight former Peace Corps volunteers working on their degree through the fellows program at Wichita State.
ÔAmerica Goes Back to School' was proclaimed by the White House as an opportunity to encourage family and community involvement in providing quality education for America's students. Events around the country will take place from August through October.
Other activities Baquet will take part in include a lunch at North High School's Temple room, a student activity at Pleasant Valley Middle School, and a reception in Wichita State University's dean's conference room in the Corbin Education Center.

Note: Acting Peace Corps Director Charles Baquet III is available for media interviews from 4:15 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 22. To attend any of the events or arrange an interview, please contact Joseph Kleinsasser of Wichita State University at (316) 978-3013.

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